Jennifer Mitchell

News Producer

Jennifer Mitchell studied Music, English and Anthropology at Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio. She has worked as News Director for Peninsula Public Radio in Homer, Alaska, and served as news producer in Bangor for Maine Public Radio in 2004. Most recently, she spent four years working in South Africa as a producer, as well as classical music presenter in Cape Town.

Jennifer is a fan of open source computing, and music of all types, including old Victrola tunes, jazz, folk, world, goth and metal. When not on the air, she can be found researching 19th century social history. Her idea of a good time is several hours in a dank basement looking at old patent applications, newspaper archives, and original recipes for intriguing Victorian delights such as sheep's head soup and shadow potatoes.

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Jennifer Mitchell

As boisterous soccer fans converge on Brazil for the international frenzy that is the World Cup, fans of another ball game are - very sedately - cheering on some of their best players - in Ellsworth. The Woodlawn Invitational Croquet Tournament got under way today.

Stephen Melkisethian / Creative Commons

The state of Vermont is the target of a federal lawsuit over its newly-enacted law requiring food manufacturers to label products that contain genetically-modified organisms, or GMO's. Four trade associations filed the suit on Thursday, alleging that Vermont has overstepped its powers. And the outcome of the case is expected to have impacts well beyond the borders of the Green Mountain State.

Town of Gouldsboro

After nearly 150 years, a historic bell that rang in the birth of Canada will be going home for a visit. The S.S. Victoria bell, which resides in Maine, had been the source of a minor cross-border spat for years. But after a special vote held Wednesday night, the citizens of Gouldsboro agreed overwhelmingly to let it go.

Town of Gouldsboro

The citizens of a small Downeast town have a decision before them, and it has international implications. One-hundred-fifty years ago this September, a party of colonial legislators sailed up the St. Lawrence River from Quebec to Prince Edward Island on a ship called the SS Queen Victoria. That trip turned out to be an important one: It led to the birth of the nation we know as Canada. All that's left now of the Victoria is the ship's bell. But it doesn't hang in Charlottetown or Ottawa; rather, it's kept under lock and key in Gouldsboro, Maine.

Mark Picard

Baxter State Park is one of the most beautiful and unknown parks in the U.S. — at least according to Country Magazine.

In the magazine's June-July "Hidden Gems" cover story, Baxter is one of ten national and state parks the magazine identified as being beautiful, yet off the beaten path.

Virginia-based husband and wife writer and photography team Pat and Chuck Blackley recommended Baxter and wrote the article for the series.

An Aroostook County potato processing company broke ground Wednesday on what company officials say is an $8.5 million expansion.

The expansion of the Naturally Potatoes processing plant in Mars Hill will double the facility's production and storage.

"It's a nice combination of things. It's good for the potato industry, good for the economy of Northern Maine, and the state of Maine," says Naturally Potatoes CEO William Haggett.

A massive manhunt is underway this morning for a man accused of opening fire on police officers in Moncton, New Brunswick.

"While responding to a call of an armed man in the north end of the city of Moncton, three of Codiac RCMP's officers were shot and killed," Damien Theriault of the Codiac Regional Royal Canadian Mounted Police says in a press conference.

In addition to the three RCMP officers killed last night, Theriault says two others were wounded and taken to the hospital.

After two years of investigation, a lengthy trial, and a record five-day deliberation, a Bangor jury has convicted two men in connection with the 2012 murder of three people, in what police say was a "drug deal gone bad." The bodies of the three victims were discovered in a car on fire in a Bangor parking lot.

Prosecutors had sought three counts of murder and one count of arson against each defendant, but Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese says the jury was not convinced on all counts.

Nick Woodward / MPBN

It's no secret that Maine's more than 100 nursing homes have been chronically underfunded. MaineCare pays the bills for about 70 percent of nursing home patients. But MaineCare rates don't cover the full cost of nursing care. And at some nursing homes, the shortage has become so serious that several have warned that they may have to close. Gov. Paul LePage and lawmakers can't agree on how to address the $12 million problem. In the meantime, nursing homes are struggling to provide shelter, food, and treatment for Maine's oldest citizens.

Maine's potato growers don't have a whole lot to celebrate at the moment; a major processing contract negotiated by a growers' bargaining council resulted in disappointingly low figures. Maine's spud crop last year was worth almost $170 million dollars and potato farmers cultivated some 54,000 acres, most of that in Aroostook County. But fewer acres will be planted this year, and with a chilly, wet spring in northern Maine, 2014 could be a tough one for many growers of Maine's iconic tuber.

Nick Woodward / MPBN

Most people probably know that the giant panda, the Siberian tiger, and the Northern right whale are in danger of dying out. But what about the Leicester Longwool, the Suffolk Punch, or the Mulefoot Hog? Those are farm animals that appear on a list of critically endangered domestic breeds. Biodiversity in the world's farmyards is shrinking, say experts, and that's not a good thing. But efforts are underway to - pardon the pun - take stock of these critters. And Maine's small farms might serve as an ark for them.

Jay Field / MPBN

Some disappointing news came today for the deep water wind project known as Aqua Ventus. That's the pilot project led by a University of Maine development team. Aqua Ventus was competing for federal development money. But, as Jennifer Mitchell reports, the project was not selected for full funding. So now, its fate is less certain. Meanwhile, environmental advocates are still lamenting a decision they say chased away another wind developer.

    This year two well-known Maine Republicans are vying for the nomination to represent Maine's vast 2nd District in Congress.  It's the seat currently held by Democrat Mike Michaud, who is running for governor.  But former state Senate President Kevin Raye and former state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin have different styles, different priorities, and different reasons for entering the race.  Poliquin says he's running so that he can help the next generation.  Jennifer Mitchell has this profile.

The Maine GOP convention was held in Bangor over the weekend where party leaders gathered in a show of unity ahead of the November elections. The theme of the convention was "United for Jobs, United for Freedom, United for Maine." Democratic and independent candidates responded to some of the attacks aimed at them over the weekend.

Governor LePage (R) said he's expecting a contentious campaign year.

"This will be probably the nastiest campaign you've ever seen in the state of Maine," LePage told the assembled crowd on Saturday.

Maine House of Representatives

As incumbent Democratic Congressman Mike Michaud departs his 2nd District seat to run for governor, he's opened the door for a host of candidates from both parties who are hoping to be sent to Washington. One of them is former state Senate President Kevin Raye, who is making his third bid for Congress.